We’re excited to be bringing a public coffee shop — called Normal Coffee — to Tube Factory as a neighborhood-focused place for coffee, conversation, and connecting with friends, neighbors, and colleagues.
Managed by Brandon Wadley, a Garfield Park neighbor, Normal is open weekdays 7 a.m. until 6 p.m. and Saturdays 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Follow Normal on Instagram here.
Big Car Collaborative artists work every day with neighbors to support a stronger community on the south side of Indianapolis from our home base, Tube Factory. And we know from experience that one of the best ways to bring people together is with food and drink. That’s why we’re boosting our offerings at Tube with a new coffee shop as a “third space” for people to gather.
With Normal Coffee, we’ll further expand the space’s role in the community as a location for spontaneous interaction between neighbors who bump into each other as they stop in for a cup of morning joe. Currently, the Garfield Park and Bean Creek neighborhoods adjacent to Tube Factory lack this kind of local spot with regular hours for meeting friends and connecting with each other. Adding Normal Coffee brings additional opportunities for people to connect as evidence shows that these kinds of spaces are vital to breaking down barriers that lead to social isolation.
The shop came about after Indianapolis-based businessman and Big Car supporter Jeff Woodward approached the organization about a partnership to bring a coffee shop to the southside. “My grandparents,parents, aunts and uncles all lived at one time in and around this area,” says Woodward. “It’s a very special area to me.”
Normal features Indianapolis-based Tinker Coffee as its primary beans, with occasional guest beans from out of town to try. We currently feature Fort-Wayne-based Utopia Coffee.
“A coffee shop is always a great gathering venue. Coffee shops always have a relaxing atmosphere and stimulate great conversation. A coffee shop in Bean Creek will give our area a more neighborly feel as well as more exposure,” says Bernie Price President of the Bean Creek Neighborhood Association and Normal’s first customer on opening day. “Tube Factory has had such a positive impact on our community and now a coffee shop. We are very fortunate and now it is up to the residents in our area to support this most recent business venture in Bean Creek.”
With Normal Coffee, we will further expand Tube Factory’s role in the community as a location for spontaneous interaction between neighbors who bump into each other as they stop in for a cup of morning joe. Adding Normal Coffee will bring additional opportunities for people to connect as evidence shows that these kinds of spaces are vital to breaking down barriers that lead to social isolation.
“The Garfield Park neighbors are overjoyed with the opening of Normal Coffee at the Tube,” says Cheryl Dillenback, President of the Garfield Park Neighborhood Association. “This neighborhood has asked for a near-by coffee shop for many years, and after many disappointments, finally have one! The Tube is such a central location for community events, neighborhood meetings, and city meetings. We appreciate the new opening.”
We gathered input from the community to determine the desire for the shop and for details like its hours and offerings. “We know from experience that one of the best ways to bring people together is with food and drink,” says Jim Walker, CEO of Big Car. “That’s why we’re boosting our offerings at Tube with a new coffee shop as a third space for people to gather.”
Food and drink offerings — especially local and healthy ones — are lacking in Big Car’s home neighborhoods. Here, little is offered in the way of local restaurants and bakeries. No coffee shops with regular hours were open south of Bates Hendricks and Fountain Square neighborhoods.
“Garfield Park is a very walkable village that was once full of local food businesses bringing vibrancy to our streets,” Walker says. “Now, with IndyGo’s bus rapid transit line launching on Shelby Street, we’re excited to be part of a return to this being that kind of place.”